Microreactors in Organic Chemistry and Catalysis, Second Edition (2013)
2. Fabrication of Microreactors Made from Metals and Ceramic
2.5. Metal Forming Techniques
Almost all technologies described so far are suitable for prototyping or small series production only. It simply takes a lot of time and is, therefore, costly to manufacture large numbers of microstructures by laser ablation or wire erosion, milling, or SLM. This is not the case for the etching techniques. Here, large numbers of microstructure devices can be generated very easily.
Another technique to obtain large numbers of microstructures is embossing. As shown earlier , even microstructures down to a few 10 μm size can be easily realized with embossing technology. For embossing, a tool providing the negative structure design has to be cut into hard metal. This negative is then pressed into the desired material using high mechanical forces, generating the positive of the structure design. An even more advanced technique is explained in Refs [6, 7], where the roll forming of metal to generate microstructures in large numbers is shown. This technique is indeed one of the most advantageous ones for the large-scale production of microstructure devices.